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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Overview Plot Development: Scene

Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults

“A good story is an experience with people in which someone turns a corner or a hair.”
                                                                                                                        Sidney Cox


A workshop I took with author Donna Fletcher Crow helped me to grasp the concept by the way she set it up. I still refer to my notes when I need a reminder.

            Scene: is External.
                         is the active action of the plot
                         is where the character has a goal which meets conflict which ends in disaster.

            Sequel: is Internal
is the reaction of the character in his/her POV.  What happened? How    do I feel?
is the dilemma for the character asking, What do I do now? What choices do I have? (to develop this you can ask as a series of questions and see what is the motivation is for each)
                             is the decision/goal for next scene. (good if you can make an action)

There needs to be at least one scene—sequel per chapter and sometimes three. Reader age and story question will guide that decision. Sometimes the scene—sequel will work with alternating chapters if a story lends itself to that style.

According to Swain, the scene is a unit of conflict. It organizes conflict, telescopes reality, and intensifies them.

The big moments in the story are scenes which give a blow-by-blow account re conflict. The purpose is to provide interest and to move the story forward. Time unifies the scene-live through it. For example in a fight scene that is going on the character will not usually take time here to reminisce.

A goal in a scene is a decision to act by your character. An implicit goal is of resistance. An explicit goal is of achievement.  Goals include possession of something, relief from something, or revenge for something.

Then disaster can come in the form of new information received, (airline is on strike) or an unanticipated third party causes difficulty and forces the character to change goals (uninvited guest shows up at party at the restaurant). Keep goals short term.

Action Steps:

1.     Choose a scene from a book you have been reading in your reader age category and track the goals and big moments. Are they in sync?

2.     Take one of your own scenes and write it in two versions: one zoom-in and one zoom-out.

Share: Which gives the most effective emotional resonance?

Read deep, marcy

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